The temperatures were just starting to drop. It was the end of autumn in 2001 when Ryan Seals met the woman who would soon become his wife.
Seals had an interesting faith journey. He was raised Catholic and ventured into Mormonism for a season before ultimately finding a local Calvary Chapel along the border of Oregon and Idaho. It was there that he not only dedicated his life to Jesus Christ but it’s also where he met Kimi.
Their relationship developed quickly. Within about a year of meeting one another, Kimi and Ryan were married. The wedding was just a couple days after Christmas, on Dec. 28, 2002.
“We were just best friends,” Seals told Faithwire. “We clicked really well. The first couple years weren’t a struggle. They were the best years of our lives — at least my life.”
Unfortunately, their close bond didn’t render them immune to tragedy, but their faith stood strong in the midst of it all.
Roughly five years ago, the Seals lost one of their sons, Brasen, when he was a newborn. And because of their commitment to life, the young couple decided to carry him to term, despite knowing he was facing significant health complications.
“Kimi carried him full term,” Seals said. “We went through that whole grieving process — ‘Why God? Why would we have to go through something like this?’ — but when these kind of things happened to Kimi and I, it’s brought us closer together and our faith in God has been stronger.”
In the most trying times of their marriage, Seals said, he and his wife turned to prayer and trusted God’s plan, even when it was confusing — a supernatural trust the Oregon-based couple would soon, once again, have to rely upon.
Kimi, who passed away in late July after a harrowing and unrelenting fight, was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer in April 2017.
“We were shocked,” Seals, who now works for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), recalled. “She’s always been super healthy. She eats organic, she works out, she does all these things. And then to find that it was stage-four was just devastating.”
In this darkest season of their lives, when hope seemed increasingly distant, Seals said he and his wife turned to Scripture. He praised Kimi, who authored a book about her journey, for “so diligently” seeking God’s Word as the troubles of this world closed in on them.
Seals said Romans 15:13 proved to be an incredibly important passage in their lives. In the verse, the apostle Paul wrote, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“The way that our friends and family have seen [Kimi] conduct her life in the midst of everything going on — like at her celebration of life on Sunday we had people tell us they hate going to funerals but that was the first funeral they’ve ever been to where they’ve actually felt hope,” Seals said. “They felt like, ‘Wow, God is still good, even in the midst of what’s going on.’”
Moving forward, Seals asked fellow believers to pray he and his children would continue to trust God to carry them forward as he has throughout this entire journey. The young father also asked for prayers that his ministry at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes would continue to flourish.
“With ministry,” he explained, “you have to give out a lot. [Pray] that I have the heart to continue to give out to the local students, and athletes, and coaches, and everybody that I work with.”
Kimi leaves behind her husband and their four children, a 13-year-old daughter, an 11-year-old son, a 7-year-old son, and a 4-year-old daughter. For those interested, you can go here to donate to help Ryan and his family cover Kimi’s remaining medical costs.